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St. Louis Zoo

Carol Perkins, Conservationist And Humanitarian, Dies At 95

Oct 25, 2012
(Courtesy Saint Louis Zoo)

Updated 5:52 p.m.

Carol Perkins, a conservationist and humanitarian and the widow of famed zoologist Marlin Perkins, has died.

The Saint Louis Zoo says Carol Perkins died Saturday at her home in Clayton, Mo. She was 95 and had been in declining health.

Marlin Perkins was the director of the Saint Louis Zoo who gained international fame after becoming host of television's "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" in 1962. The program aired for 26 years until his death in 1986.

(via Saint Louis Zoo)

Updated at 3:25 with comments from Zoo officials.

Plans to expand the Saint Louis Zoo are moving forward with the zoo's purchase of the 13.5-acre property of the former Forest Park Hospital.

The Saint Louis Zoo Association, a private non-profit, closed the purchase on Friday. Price and contract terms were not disclosed. Plans for the deal were announced in March

Zoo backers want to build a breeding facility and outdoor attraction offering a safari-like experience in Spanish Lake.
Stephanie Richmond | St. Louis Zoo

The Asian elephant herd at the Saint Louis Zoo is about to grow again.

The Zoo announced today that Ellie is pregnant with a female calf. It's her fourth pregnancy and third birth - she miscarried in 2010 at 36 weeks. The typical elephant pregnancy lasts about 22 months, so Ellie's latest calf is due in the spring of 2013.

The Zoo says typical newborn elephants weigh between 250 and 350 pounds.

(wwarby via Flickr)

Unlike their cold-weather relatives, Humboldt penguins live only in South America, along the rocky Pacific coast of Chile and Peru.

The Saint Louis Zoo’s Michael Macek has been monitoring the penguins there, tracking their health and numbers.

Macek is back in Peru again, in a coastal reserve called Punta San Juan, where Humboldt penguins nest by the thousands.

Before he left, he told St. Louis Public Radio's Véronique LaCapra that this time he’s helping to lead a sustainable guano harvest.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 24, 2012 - Last week was National Zookeeper Week at the St. Louis Zoo – but somebody forgot to tell the zookeepers.

While the three zookeepers interviewed for this article all admitted to feeling “grateful,” “excited” or something similar for the recognition of their work, they all preferred to talk about the animals under their care.

via Flickr/Derringdos

St. Louis Zoo officials say the deaths of three harbor seals in transit from Canada to St. Louis last month were due to exertional myopathy, or a disease of the muscles. The disease was likely brought on by the stress of travel.

Baby colobus monkey born at Saint Louis Zoo

Jul 11, 2012
Robin Winkelman/Saint Louis Zoo

St. Louis' population has increased by one - well, at least at the Saint Louis Zoo.

A baby colobus monkey was born on June 30. It does not have a name yet because its gender is still uncertain.

Ingrid Porton, curator of primates at the Zoo, said the baby monkey's mother, Roberta, was once thought to be post-reproductive - but with the birth of two babies since she came to the Zoo in 2010, "happily she proved this to be quite incorrect.”

You can catch a glimpse of the new baby, Roberta and the whole colobus monkey family at the Zoo. They are all now on exhibit.

Robin Winkelman/Saint Louis Zoo

Starting this Saturday, visitors to the Saint Louis Zoo will have their first chance to check out a new sea lion exhibit.

The 1.5 acre, $18 million habitat will house 11 California sea lions in a large saltwater pool. There’s also an arena for sea lion shows.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 22, 2012 - California sea lions are friendly, curious animals. Fun for audiences to observe, they are in zoos across the country despite their “common” status in the wild.

The St. Louis Zoo’s new Sea Lion Sound exhibit will open to the public June 30, replacing a sea lion pool and arena that housed various animal shows for 57 years. The exhibit includes the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Family Sea Lion Landing and the Lichtenstein Sea Lion Arena, which will house twice-daily sea lion shows.

Derringdos / Flickr

Updated 10:34 a.m. June 13, 2012 with announcement of third seal death.

The Saint Louis Zoo has announced the death of a third seal (the one which was left at the Indianapolis Zoo for observation and treatment). The seal, Cri Cri, was 19 years old. 

A necropsy will be performed by the College of Veterinary Medicine at Purdue University to try to find the cause of death of Cri Cri. Necropsies were performed for the other two seals who died by the Saint Louis Zoo's veterinary pathologist.

Beetle to make Missouri comeback tomorrow

Jun 4, 2012
Dan Kirk

An endangered beetle will be making its Missouri comeback on Tuesday.

That's when about 250 American burying beetles will be reintroduced in the Wah’Kon-Tah prairie, about 60 miles northwest of Springfield.

It's a joint effort of the Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Missouri Department of Conservation, and the St. Louis Zoo.

It's been 40 years since a confirmed sighting of the insect in Missouri, and the director of the zoo’s Center for American Burying Beetle Conservation, Bob Merz, says he hopes it will get reestablished in the state.

Morning headlines - Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May 15, 2012

Record attendance for St. Louis Zoo

The first four and a half months of the year have been a record one for the St. Louis Zoo, no doubt helped by an unseasonably warm winter and spring.

Officials said Monday that more than one million people had entered the Zoo’s gates in through May 13. The Zoo expects those numbers to go higher once Sea Lion Sound opens on June 30.

A year after record floods, drought conditions in southeast Missouri

What a difference a year makes in southeastern Missouri.

New Missouri initiative looks to create buzz about bees

May 11, 2012
Ed Spevak / Saint Louis Zoo

The Missouri Department of Agriculture is launching a new initiative to try to create some buzz about bees.

Agriculture Director Jon Hagler says “The Great Missouri Buzz Off” aims to educate Missourians about bees and beekeeping.

“Whether it be honeybees, or native bees, they’re so vital to our agriculture’s success, and to our horticulture’s success, and we have such amazing resources here in our state,” Hagler said.

(via Saint Louis Zoo)

The American burying beetle is coming back – more than three decades since it was last spotted in Missouri.

The Saint Louis Zoo and the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced on Tuesday that they have gotten approval to reintroduce the beetle at the Wah'Kon-Tah Prairie in southwest Missouri. Up to 150 breeding pairs will be placed in underground with dead animals for food - the process starts in June.

Morning Headlines: Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Apr 24, 2012
(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

US Chamber of Commerce weighs in on Missouri's GOP Senate primary

The US Chamber of Commerce has made an endorsement in the three-way Republican Senate primary in Missouri.

The chamber on Tuesday backed former Vi-Jon chairman John Brunner, saying his private sector experience in cutting spending and balancing budgets provides the best contrast with Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill.

Gingrich's love of animals goes unrequited by Saint Louis Zoo penguin

Apr 16, 2012
(via Flickrvenomgfx)

In the weird and wacky news category today, at least one penguin at the St. Louis Zoo appears to be a feisty opponent of Newt Gingrich - or at least one of his fingers.

The Republican presidential candidate is sporting a small bandage on his finger after getting nipped by a small penguin during his tour of the zoo on Friday. Gingrich was in St. Louis to speak during the National Rifle Association's annual meeting.

2 lion cubs survive, 2 die at Saint Louis Zoo

Mar 27, 2012
(photo by Rachael Macy/Saint Louis Zoo)

Two newborn lion cubs are being raised by staff at the Saint Louis Zoo more than a month after their birth, but two other cubs in the litter have died.

The African lion cubs were born Feb. 14 to the 6-year-old lioness Cabara. The zoo said Tuesday that two did not survive because Cabara couldn't produce enough milk to feed them. Zoo officials say it is not uncommon for lion mothers in the wild to rear fewer than 50 percent of the cubs born in a litter.

Endangered beetle to return to Missouri

Mar 22, 2012
(Dan Kirk/Saint Louis Zoo)

An endangered beetle could be making its way back to Missouri, with some help from the Saint Louis Zoo and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

If all goes well, the zoo plans to reintroduce the American burying beetle to Wah’ kon-tah Prairie in southwestern Missouri in early June.

St. Louis Zoo to buy Forest Park Hospital property

Mar 12, 2012
(via Saint Louis Zoo)

Updated 4:36 p.m. with comment from Jeffrey Bonner.

The Saint Louis Zoo has announced plans to buy the Forest Park Hospital site on Oakland Avenue, just south of Highway 40. The acquisition would allow the zoo to expand its parking, research, and office space.

The Saint Louis Zoo Association signed a conditional contract with the site owner, Medline Industries, Inc., on March 8. The price and contract terms were not disclosed.

Amy Buxton / Via Flickr

Photo taken at the St. Louis Zoo by Amy Buxton on Flickr.com.

Join the St. Louis Public Radio Flickr group to see interesting photos taken in the St. Louis region and submit your own. Each week we feature, on our website, one outstanding photo from the group.

Breeding program at St. Louis Zoo gives hope for giant Ozark salamander

Nov 30, 2011

For the first time ever, an endangered amphibian found only in a few Missouri and Arkansas counties has been successfully bred in captivity.

Officials with the St. Louis Zoo and Missouri Department of Conservation said Wednesday that 63 Ozark hellbenders have been bred at the zoo. The first hatched on Nov. 15, and an additional 120 eggs are expected to hatch within the next week.

The breeding is the result of a decade-long collaboration of the zoo and the conservation department. 

Morning headlines: Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Oct 25, 2011
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Cardinals lose Game 5 to Texas Rangers

The Ranger's Mike Napoli hit a tiebreaking two-run double in the eighth inning against Marc Rzepczynski , and the team rallied from a two-run deficit to beat the Cardinals 4-2  last night and take a 3-2 World Series lead.

Solo home runs by Mitch Moreland in the third and Adrian Beltre in the sixth off Chris Carpenter sparked the Texas comeback. Michael Young doubled off loser Octavio Dotel leading off the eighth. Darren Oliver got the win in relief of C.J. Wilson.

(Michael Abbene/Saint Louis Zoo)

Cute alert!

St. Louis has a new resident - at the St. Louis Zoo's Emerson Children's Zoo.

"Nina," a miniature burro, was born Tuesday, Oct. 4 in front of staff and visitors. Her mother, "Miss Barney," came to the St. Louis Zoo this summer.

The little foal weighs 31 pounds and stands 23 inches tall. The Zoo says ancestors of the mini burro, or miniature donkey, come from the island of Sicily near the Mediterranean Sea.

Baby elephant makes public debut at Saint Louis Zoo

Sep 23, 2011
(Photo courtesy of Becky Heisler/Saint Louis Zoo)

The Asian elephant calf Kenzi is making her public debut this morning at the Saint Louis Zoo.

The three-month-old calf will be on view at the "River's Edge" habitat from 10 a.m. to noon and then again from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. today through Sunday.

(Courtesy St. Louis Zoo)

Updated 2:10 p.m. Aug. 23 with cause of death

One of the country's top professional associations for zoos and aquariums says people should not be worried about the quality of care at the St. Louis Zoo, despite the death of another animal there.

(Rachael Macy/Saint Louis Zoo)

A new source of pride and joy has arrived to join her own pride at the St. Louis Zoo. An African lion cub was born on July 17 at the Zoo, along with another female cub which was, unfortunately, stillborn.

The female cub, named Imani, which means "faith" in Swahili, became dehydrated several days after birth, and is now being hand-fed, with success, at the Zoo's veterinary hospital.

Endangered beetle may return to Mo. prairie through work with St. Louis Zoo

Jul 22, 2011
(Dan Kirk)

Updated 11:52 a.m.

The endangered American burying beetle could be making its way to a southwestern Missouri prairie.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to work with the St. Louis Zoo to reintroduce the colorful beetle to Wah-Kon-Tah Prairie in St. Clair and Cedar counties.

The Zoo has a population of the beetles. Zoo officials say they have not been seen in Missouri in more than two decades.

(You might remember this earlier feature from our own Véronique LaCapra on the about some dedicated supporters in St. Louis joining a nationwide effort to save the insect).

(photo by Carol Weerts/St. Louis Zoo)

Updated to reflect the fact that chimp was euthanized last month.

A chimpanzee who helped foster six young apes at the St. Louis Zoo while raising his own youngster has died.

The Zoo announced today that Smoke was euthanized June 22 after veterinary staff found that an infection and inflammation in his abdomen had spread.

Baby elephant born at St. Louis Zoo

Jun 24, 2011
(St. Louis Zoo)

Updated 2:47 p.m. July 5 with name finalized:

The St. Louis Zoo announced that a name has been chosen for the baby elephant, Kenzi, which won with 69,406 (53.88%) votes. Runner up June received 40,683 votes (31.58%), Zoe received 12,249 votes (9.51%) and Mya received 6,438 votes (5%). Write-ins received .03% of the vote.

Updated 10:27 a.m. June 28 with naming contest information

It's a girl: The latest addition to the St. Louis Zoo is a bouncing baby elephant.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 18, 2011 - Sophie spends much of her day riding piggyback on her mom. This fluffy little coquerel's sifaka lemur is just 4 months old. She is still nursing, but she's beginning to show some curiosity about the food her parents and brother, Titus, 15 months, enjoy. As her confidence grows, she ventures away from mom, but soon leaps back again to her secure seat, wrapping her arms around her mom's neck.

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